Interior designer and blogger P. Gaye Tapp recollects the lives and impeccably decorated homes of 16 iconic women in her upcoming book, How They Decorated: Inspiration From Great Women of the Twentieth Century, out April 11 from Rizzoli. She assembles stylish women who designed their homes in four categories she calls Legacy Style, In the Grand Manner, Fashionably Chic, and Unconventional Eye. Photos and illustrations show earthy pieces Georgia O’Keeffe brought to her adobe house, the floors covered in animal skins and rugs, or socialite Babe Paley’s New York City apartment.
All of the women are connected by their good taste and the fearless, personal touches they gave to their surroundings. The book includes curious details from their personal lives, like how Hélène Rochas earned Hubert de Givenchy’s praise, or how the writer Fleur Cowles once commissioned local nuns to embroider hundreds of yards of fabric for the rooms she was decorating. Click ahead for a glimpse into the world of interior design at the time.
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Illustration of the Schiaparelli Library.
Babe Paley’s Fifth Avenue living room.
Illustration of Babe Paley’s New York City Apartment.
The sitting room of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu Village home.
A room in her Abiquiu Village home.
A pair of exterior black doors at Georgia O’Keeffe’s ranch in Abiquiu.
Between the main entrance and the patio at Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu Village home.
In the sitting room of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu Village home.
Georgia O’Keeffe’s bedroom.
Her Albany library, designed by Diana Phipps.